Monday, May 23, 2011

2d Cir. decision about injunction bonds, attorneys' fees, and the presumption of recovery

The Second Circuit today decided that a wrongfully enjoined party (1) is entitled to a “rebuttable presumption in favor of recovery . . . for provable damages” against a FRCP 65(c) injunction bond; and (2) such damages may include attorneys’ fees if they were fees that were “incurred in complying with the injunction.” (emphasis added).

As to the “presumption,” the Second Circuit indicated that the presumption attaches only after “the wrongfully enjoined party . . . first demonstrate[s] that the damages sought were proximately caused by the wrongful injunction” and “properly substantiate[s] the damages sought.” (This doesn’t seem to me to be much of a presumption, since it sounds a lot like what any injured party in any case needs to prove to obtain damages.)

The case is Nokia Corp. v. InterDigital, Inc., No. 10-1358 (2d Cir. May 23, 2011).

For those interested, the injunction—which was later vacated and therefore “wrongful”—required InterDigital to stay or terminate its ITC proceeding against Nokia and another company as to Nokia, based on an alleged arbitration agreement between InterDigital and Nokia. So instead of one ITC proceeding, InterDigital for a while had to arbitrate against Nokia while it litigated an ITC proceeding against the other company. InterDigital later claimed that it incurred substantial attorneys’ fees staying the ITC proceeding as to Nokia and having to incur duplicative fees and expenses litigating its claims against Nokia and the other company in two different forums.

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